Sunday, March 27, 2011

What's Exciting About This New Era

The axe is coming down hard. Due to the economic crisis, ruling classes are foisting austerity upon working people the world over. But there is resistance. It is in its early stages, but we've already seen a few glimpses of what could happen when the sleeping giant is awoken. As Richard Seymour eloquently puts it in a recent post:
It was something that I haven't really seen en masse before. It was something that some people had written off. They said was a bit old hat, doomed to a slow, dwindling death, if it even really existed. It was the working class. Not the working class in the shitty, nostalgic, culturally regressive sense that people invoke, not the deus ex machina mobilised to berate black people and gays for being too assertive of their legitimate rights. It was the working class as an agent of its own interests; it was a class for itself. It was the labour movement, every bit the multicultural entity that Cameron reviles. And that movement, comprising several millions of people, having lain dormant for years, is now looking decidedly up for a fight. If you're a socialist in one of those workplaces on Monday morning, you should have an easier job arguing for militant strike action now, because people now know what they could not be sure of before: that we are many, and they are few.
In some ways, this is what it felt like to be at the 200,000-strong rally in Madison a few weeks ago. It's heartening to know that working people in Britain are fighting the same fight. It's not clear what will happen in the short-term, but what's obvious is that the potential for a mass, working-class fightback is greater now than it has been at any time since the 1930s. There is a radicalization going on- whether it will be organized into a force that can shake the neoliberal edifice that's been erected over the last 40 years remains to be seen. But the potential is there, and that's exciting.

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